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Thread: Ok, what's so great about... .Neil Young?

  1. #101
    Member progholio's Avatar
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    I agree with all of the great comments stated before, I love songwriting, the voice, the guitar, the whole deal. Only thing i can add is whenever old Neil releases a new record you just don't know what going to be coming through those speakers.

    Who would have predicted Re-ac-tor, Trans, or Everybody's Rocking, or Mirror Ball or This Note's For You, you get the idea. No doubt some things are better than others but i always admire a guy who doesn't repeat himself.

    A few days ago i listened to A Letter Home for the first time, man, i love that record.

    I hope he keeps at it for a while.

  2. #102
    Member Adrian's Avatar
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    I can't remember anymore when I first heard Neil, but I connected with his music when "Freedom" came out. After his creative dip in the early '80s, he came back really strong on the string of records that followed "Freedom." "Harvest Moon," "Ragged Glory," "Sleeps With Angels." I love that he's willing to follow his creative muse wherever it takes him and try pretty much anything. He's 100% authentic. Not a great voice, not a great guitar technique, but when you hear him, you know it's Neil. And his songwriting is among the best in the business.

    "Chrome Dreams II" and "Psychedelic Pill" are two of his more recent records I've really enjoyed.

  3. #103
    Member Adrian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SteveSly View Post

    Unfortunately I have never had the chance to see Young live. He is on my bucket list, but the few times he has played my area I have had conflicts and have been unable to go.
    One of my best concert memories involves Neil. He was playing the HORDE festival, sometime back in the '90s. I think the show was somewhere around Chicago. Neil was the headliner. He was playing in a pavilion that had a roof over it, but the sides were open. While he's playing, the wind picked up and the rain started blowing in. Pretty soon it was a downpour. Water was gushing into the pavilion and rolling down toward the front seats. Then lightning and thunder, and the main power went out. But Neil and the band didn't miss a beat. They kept right on playing, apparently hooked up to auxiliary power. People were crowding down around the stage to hear the music coming out of the stage monitors. I don't remember how long the power was out, but I remember the lightning, the gushing water, and some candles flickering in the wind on the amps onstage. I guess they were just part of the stage set-up that night, but they turned out to help set a perfect mood.

    The song Neil was playing when all this happened?

    Like a Hurricane.

  4. #104
    Member Jerjo's Avatar
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    I don't like country music, but I don't mean to denigrate those who do. And for the people who like country music, denigrate means 'put down.'- Bob Newhart

  5. #105
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  6. #106
    That's Mr. to you, Sir!! Trane's Avatar
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    Only saw Neil once, and it was the Rust Never Sleeps tour , which produced the VHS/DVD and the Live Rust album, with the Road Eyes)


    You know what?? I'm glad I saw his all-time best tour (no doubt it was)

    ===================

    What strikes me is that NY is one of the most critical/depressive, but listening to some if his better-known songs bring me a sort of joy

    (like Cortez, for ex)
    Last edited by Trane; 01-19-2017 at 08:16 AM.
    my music collection increased tenfolds when I switched from drug-addicts to complete nutcases.

  7. #107
    Neil Young's songwriting and guitar playing moves me in ways most other bands/musicians can't. As a non-musician i'm unable to get into the technicalities of what he does, but even though he's not technically brilliant he makes that guitar just sing! There are guitar greats out there who simply couldn't wring the emotion out of their instruments that NJ does, and that's 'my' criteria for a great artist. I prefer his harder stuff to his more country-tinged output, but it's all great to varying degrees.

    Whether it's acoustic or he's just plugged in 'Old Black' ... NJ's got the songs. There's no artifice, he just wants to communicate, whether it's something as beautiful as Old Man or Harvest Moon, or as hard-rocking as F**kin' Up or Welfare Mothers. It's been said that Neil Young was all about 'heart' and Bob Dylan was all about 'the head' ... and i can't disagree too much with that.

  8. #108
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    I'm amazed over all that Neil's overcame physically and mentally to become such a great song writer and performer. I don't have much of his catalogue but some of what I have is damn good music.

  9. #109
    For those who haven't delved into all things Neil, I would suggest giving Decade a spin. One of the greatest compilations of all time. The depth of his musical contributions over that ten year span (from his work with Buffalo Springfield up to the album Long May You Run) is amazing.
    "And your little sister's immaculate virginity wings away on the bony shoulders of a young horse named George who stole surreptitiously into her geography revision."

    Occasional musical musings on https://darkelffile.blogspot.com/

  10. #110
    Member Guitarplyrjvb's Avatar
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    Love the guy's music in doses from Buffalo Springfield through Harvest Moon. Harvest is a classic, for me. If you're a guitarist, pretty much all of his music can be played with cowboy chords and a few basic bar chords, easy to learn and thus essential for any budding musician! He also has some great riffs a la Cinnamon Girl, Loner, and Mr. Soul!

    I do find it somewhat ironic that he's championing high-resolution audio when much of his latter-day output is so heavily distorted and grungy.
    Last edited by Guitarplyrjvb; 01-27-2017 at 12:55 PM.

  11. #111
    Quote Originally Posted by Adrian View Post
    One of my best concert memories involves Neil. He was playing the HORDE festival, sometime back in the '90s. I think the show was somewhere around Chicago. Neil was the headliner. He was playing in a pavilion that had a roof over it, but the sides were open. While he's playing, the wind picked up and the rain started blowing in. Pretty soon it was a downpour. Water was gushing into the pavilion and rolling down toward the front seats. Then lightning and thunder, and the main power went out. But Neil and the band didn't miss a beat. They kept right on playing, apparently hooked up to auxiliary power. People were crowding down around the stage to hear the music coming out of the stage monitors. I don't remember how long the power was out, but I remember the lightning, the gushing water, and some candles flickering in the wind on the amps onstage. I guess they were just part of the stage set-up that night, but they turned out to help set a perfect mood.

    The song Neil was playing when all this happened?

    Like a Hurricane.

    Wow, that's...uncanny. Are you sure it was Chicago, because I had the *exact* same experience at the HORDE festival stop in Hershey, PA. I forget the exact year, but it was sometime in the mid-1990s (actually it was 1997 according to Google - I thought it was a lot earlier than that). The black clouds had been gathering behind the stage for most of the set, and as Young is playing one of his apocalyptic solos in Like a Hurricane, suddenly lightning is flashing behind him. It was one of the most perfect concert experiences I've ever had. I even remember the big candles on stage that you mentioned - at one point while the backing band (Crazy Horse?) was playing, Neil held one over his head like a totem.

    I don't remember it actually raining though. Maybe a light drizzle, but no heavy downpour, and definitely no power outage. I'd think that would have shut the show down. The show I was at just had lightning flashing off in the distance behind the stage, like it was being called down by Neil's guitar. So maybe we saw different shows, but it's eerie how similar the rest of your description is - the HORDE festival, the candles and even the song he was playing when the storm started are the same.

    Always wanted to see him in concert again, but the next time he came to town tickets were just outrageously priced so I skipped it.
    Last edited by Ground and Sky's Ghost; 01-26-2017 at 02:34 PM.
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  12. #112
    While I'm responding to this thread, I might as well address the original question of what's so great about Neil Young.

    Young's music kind of snuck up on me. I think Freedom was the first album I bought because I really liked the song "Rockin' in the Free World". Liked that whole album, but it might have ended there if it weren't for a bartender at Zenos in State College, PA. My senior year at PSU I hung out in that bar a lot of afternoons, and the one guy who worked there was obsessed with the Ragged Glory album. Played the whole thing almost every afternoon. So I bought that album, and when Harvest Moon came out I bought that one too. My then-girlfriend (now wife) liked the title track so much it became "our song".

    So when that HORDE festival came along with Neil as the headliner, we bought tickets. I figured I should hear some more of Neil's back catalog, so I bought Decade and from that point on I was hooked.

    As part of my ongoing quest in the 90s to own the entire Frank Zappa catalog, I frequently went into used CD stores and scanned the end of the alphabet. I'd occasionally find a Zappa CD, but more often I'd end up buying a Neil Young disc or two. I've currently got 32 of his albums, and I probably bought at least two thirds of those used or from discount bins.

    So what's so great about Neil? As others have said, he's tried his hand at nearly every musical style over years. A lot of his output can be wedged into either the acoustic singer/songwriter bucket or the raging garage rock bucket, but he's done blues, country, electronic, grunge - you name it. And he's brought his own unique style to each of them. His singing may be an acquired taste, but it's never bothered me. And he's written a ton of great songs over the years.

    On the other hand, most of his output since around 2000 or so that I've heard seems on the weak side to me. But then again I've mostly been buying CDs that other people didn't think were good enough to hang on to, so that may be coloring my perceptions.

    As a side note, when I first saw the movie "Scott Pilgrim vs. the World" I completely missed the joke that one of his bandmates went by the name "young Neil". It wasn't until a second viewing where I caught that one of the other guys in the band was "Stephen Stills" and I finally got the joke.
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  13. #113
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    Quote Originally Posted by Reid View Post
    Get the Massey Hall 1971 concert. If this doesn't move your soul, then Young may not be for you? The simplicity and emotional impact of these (many freshly written at the time) songs and performances I find very moving. And don't waste the extra money for the deluxe edition with the DVD. The video quality is terrible.

    I also like the intensity of the electric Fillmore East 1970 show. Killer rendition of Down By The River on this one!
    I listened to Massey Hall today and it IS very good. I especially enjoyed the piano songs. I notice no harmonic.

  14. #114
    Harvest and After the Goldrush are classics. I also really dug Zuma as a teen back in the late 70s.
    Neil is a really good acoustic guitarist.

  15. #115
    That's Mr. to you, Sir!! Trane's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by the winter tree View Post
    Harvest and After the Goldrush are classics.

    Never understood how these albums ranked so high in rock circles (as opposed to the Crazy Horse albums)

    OK, in terms of singer/songwriters, this is probably more than OK, but both albums have too much country flavours, for my ears . Only When You Dance and Southern Man save Goldrush and the same for Harvest with Old Man and Damage Done.

    I much prefer the surrounding album: Nowhere and Beach are essential NY
    my music collection increased tenfolds when I switched from drug-addicts to complete nutcases.

  16. #116
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    I quite like "Words (Between the Lines of Age)" from Harvest. Here's a live version with Jim Keltner and 'Duck' Dunn for your consideration:
    https://youtu.be/59r5kNRaoLQ
    Last edited by señormoment; 01-28-2017 at 01:12 PM.

  17. #117
    Connoisseur of stuff. Obscured's Avatar
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    Lots of Neil Young stuff happening including a live stream now from his hometown. He's opened up his archives, for free (for now) and it's of the "highest possible quality".

    1. Stream Neil Young's new album 'The Visitor' on NPR's First Listen
    https://www.npr.org/2017/11/23/56599...al-the-visitor

    2. On Friday Dec 1 8pm ET, Neil Young will perform a 90-minute concert in Omemee, Ontario (Coronation Hall?) which can be livestreamed for Free. In Canada can watch live on CTV.ca and everyone can tune in via Facebook
    https://www.facebook.com/NeilYoung/

    3. On Dec 1, Neil opens his archives for free access. Read all the info here:
    http://www.neilyoungarchives.com/desktop/index.html

    https://2ab9pu2w8o9xpg6w26xnz04d-wpe...ed-980x980.jpg

    The Visitor Tracklist:

    1. Already Great
    2. Fly By Night Deal
    3. Almost Always
    4. Stand Tall
    5. Change Of Heart
    6. Carnival
    7. Diggin’ A Hole
    8. Children Of Destiny
    9. When Bad Got Good
    10. Forever
    "Henry Cow always wanted to push itself, so sometimes we would write music that we couldn't actually play – I found that very encouraging." - Lindsay Cooper, 1998
    "I have nothing to do with Endless River. Phew! This is not rocket science people, get a grip." - Roger Waters, 2014
    "I'm a collector. And I've always just seemed to collect personalities." - David Bowie, 1973

  18. #118
    Connoisseur of stuff. Obscured's Avatar
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    Last night's concert-
    http://bigozine2.com/roio/?p=3811
    "Henry Cow always wanted to push itself, so sometimes we would write music that we couldn't actually play – I found that very encouraging." - Lindsay Cooper, 1998
    "I have nothing to do with Endless River. Phew! This is not rocket science people, get a grip." - Roger Waters, 2014
    "I'm a collector. And I've always just seemed to collect personalities." - David Bowie, 1973

  19. #119
    Highly Evolved Orangutan JKL2000's Avatar
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    My wife has some surprising gaps in her musical knowledge. A few weeks ago we were taking turns playing songs on a Bluetooth speaker and I played Heart of Gold. She asked what it was, and I said, kind of surprised, It’s Neil Young!” And she said, even more surprised, “You mean that’s a man?”


  20. #120
    Quote Originally Posted by JKL2000 View Post
    My wife has some surprising gaps in her musical knowledge. A few weeks ago we were taking turns playing songs on a Bluetooth speaker and I played Heart of Gold. She asked what it was, and I said, kind of surprised, It’s Neil Young!” And she said, even more surprised, “You mean that’s a man?”

    My kids said the exact opposite when they heard Janis Joplin.
    "A conspiracy of silence speaks louder than words."

    - Dr. Winston O'Boogie

  21. #121
    Member moecurlythanu's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ronmac View Post
    My kids said the exact opposite when they heard Janis Joplin.
    Well, I think I read once that Janis was voted "Ugliest Guy" or something similar, as part of the "Senior Best" awards in High School.
    He did not know that the sword he'd hold, would turn his priceless empire into fool's gold...

    http://www.discogs.com/user/moecurlythanu/collection

  22. #122
    Member Mythos's Avatar
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    What's so great about Neil Young?

    Let's just see if any of the current music stars can write something as brilliant as:

    Hey Hey My MY....

  23. #123
    Member moecurlythanu's Avatar
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    The question is laughable.

  24. #124
    Quote Originally Posted by JKL2000 View Post
    My wife has some surprising gaps in her musical knowledge. A few weeks ago we were taking turns playing songs on a Bluetooth speaker and I played Heart of Gold. She asked what it was, and I said, kind of surprised, It’s Neil Young!” And she said, even more surprised, “You mean that’s a man?”

    I remember hearing 'After The Goldrush' on the radio way back in the 70s, having never heard of Neil Young, and thinking it was a female.

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